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Professor Shares Moving Personal Story Behind New Album Success

MUSIC composed by a Liverpool Hope University academic has been included in an acclaimed new album. 

The collection, ‘Flute XXI’, features highly-respected Italian flautist and composer Roberto Fabbriciani performing a series of works created by some of his favourite composers. 

Tuscan-born Fabbriciani handpicked two pieces of music written by Hope’s own Professor Stephen Davismoon - entitled ‘Mist’, and ‘Branches Against a White Sky’. 

Professor Davismoon shares billing with some of the biggest names in contemporary classical music, including movie soundtrack icon Ennio Morricone as well as modern master Brian Ferneyhough.

It’s also a deeply personal triumph for Professor Davismoon. 

The works that Fabbriciani performs were written at a time when Hope’s Head of Creative Campus was in a period of recovery following treatment for cancer - and also during a time of profound reflection. 

Professor Davismoon explains how the works are penned for piccolo and adds: “Roberto Fabbriciani is a big name in the contemporary experimental classical music world and as a flautist he pioneered so many of the new techniques that are now being taught all over the world.

“And I’m proud of the company I’m keeping on that CD.”

Professor Davismoon says he first met 'world-class’ Fabbriciani in the early 1990s while researching publications on the fellow Italian composer Luigi Nono. 

Fabbriciani ultimately asked Professor Davismoon to write him a piece of music for solo bass flute. 

And the pair were soon driving through the Italian countryside, in Fabbriciani’s beloved Alfa Romeo car, forging a close friendship. 

Professor Davismoon says he first began composing the piccolo pieces that feature on the new album way back in 2002, following a period of illness and subsequent convalescence in rural Tuscany with Fabbriciani and his wife Luisella. 

He says: “I was experimenting with different articulations on the piccolo. 

“And these pieces gestated in Tuscany during that holiday, as well as a period of rehabilitation in Lithuania with my mother-in-law. 

“It was a period of real reflection for me. When you come through an illness, it’s about trying to recapture an appreciation of the really, basic, elemental things in life. 

“These pieces aren’t easy to listen to. There’s no getting away from that fact. 

“But like experiencing a cold, stark morning - which these tracks reference - that’s life. 

“Sometimes we need music that makes us want to party. At other times music, like literature, should be challenging.

“Without wishing to sound too grandiose, those two pieces are like postcards from my life. 

“And it’s amazing to think that flautists now, potentially, from all over the world will be able to hear them and perhaps play them, too. 

“That’s a wonderful feeling. I’m very lucky.”

You can purchase the album, and preview the tracks, here.


Published on 15/05/2020